RIP Seymour Papert

I’m in my mid-40s, so I’m lucky enough to be among the first generation of kids who grew up with computers in the home and at school. For many of us who came up during that time, Logo was an essential computing experience. I learned through friends on Twitter earlier today that one of Logo’s creators, Seymour Papert, passed away over the weekend at age 88.

Logo was a programming language developed for kids. It was radically different because it was visual: You issued positional commands to a “turtle” on the screen (a triangular cursor). Once you got down the basic mechanics of it, you learned the essence of programming loops and functions, creating dazzling geometric visual designs in the process. It was a marvelous and engaging way to learn programming at a time when computers were still very rudimentary.

Now kids who want to learn the basics of programming have some great alternatives like Scratch and Kojo, but Logo lives on in spirit and in essence, and Papert’s legacy lives on in generations of programmers and legions of computer users inspired by his work.

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